Public spending in federal protected areas in Brazil

José Maria Cardoso da Silva, Teresa Cristina Albuquerque de Castro Dias, Alan Cavalcanti da Cunha, Helenilza Ferreira Albuquerque Cunha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Establishing protected areas (PAs)is one of the most common land use policies implemented by governments to maintain healthy ecosystems at different spatial scales and in distinct socioeconomic settings. However, reliable knowledge on government spending in PAs and the factors that influence this spending is limited. In this study, we describe the public spending by the Brazilian government in a set of 289 federal PAs that altogether cover an area of 743,406 km2. Then, we assess how six contextual factors (area, age, population density, human development index [HDI], ecological regions, and management group)influence this spending. From 2013–2016, the Brazilian government invested at least US$197.8 million in 289 PAs. The average annual spending per km2 presents a wide variation, ranging from US$0.3/km2 to US$392,250/km2. A linear regression model indicates that (1)the annual public spending increases with PA size, PA age, human population density, and HDI; (2)multiple-use PAs receive fewer resources than strict-protection PAs do; and (3)no difference exists in the public spending in PAs between Amazon—the region perceived by the national population as the most important for Brazil's natural resources—and other ecological regions in the country. Our study highlights the urgent need to document the flows of financial resources to PAs, with the aim of understanding their variation patterns and the processes that cause such a variation. Similar studies in other countries are required to evaluate if the patterns that we describe here are general or are country specific. Besides, separately assessing the investments coming from governments and the financial resources provided by other conservation investors (i.e., NGOs, multilateral, corporations)is worthwhile to produce a more comprehensive and nuanced view of financial flows to PAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Biodiversity
  • Brazil
  • Conservation finance
  • Protected areas
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Public spending in federal protected areas in Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this